Posts Tagged ‘Trusting God’

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In just a couple weeks I will be running my sixth half-marathon, and it will be the fourth time that I do the Detroit International Half. For the past three years, race day has been unseasonably cold, with it actually snowing last year. Long before dawn, the excitement is palpable as 20,000 runners make our way through the dark to find our corral and correct pace group. There we wait for what seems like hours, jumping up and down to stay warm. We smile and chat, as the common bond is instant. The countdown on the loudspeaker begins and we hear the siren as the first group starts. Slowly, we inch our way closer, listening as every two minutes the next group starts. Soon we can see the start line and many snap a few last minute photos before tucking away their phones. By now, we are jogging. As we cross that mat, we click our watches and we’re officially off.

The first mile or two I try not to think about what I’m doing. I can’t believe the day has finally arrived. I focus on not starting too fast or too slow. I tell myself this is just a normal run. Deep breaths in and out. Months of training have brought me to this point. For the past 48 hours, I’ve been carb loading and drinking water by the gallon. I am as prepared as I can be.

By mile three, we are running across the Ambassador Bridge as the sun rises. It’s a gorgeous site and the excitement continues. I remind myself to look up and enjoy the scenery. People are jostling just to have a few steps of pavement in front of them without tripping over one another. I try not to get annoyed at a runner who is already walking. If they knew they couldn’t run, they should have started further back, I think. Maybe they had no idea, my nicer self decides to give them a break.

At the end of the bridge, it’s strange to run across the Canadian border where on any other day, you would be in your car and have to stop at the booth. The border patrol stand seriously looking at us to make sure they can see our bibs, otherwise we risk getting pulled out. Next to them, a local band and lots of friendly Canadians greet us with posters and cheers. Miles five through seven are smooth, fun and flat as we run next to the river on the Windsor side overlooking Detroit’s skyline.

Somewhere around mile seven, we enter the tunnel. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A tunnel, except this one is underwater. Two lanes normally full of bumper to bumper traffic. But for these few hours it’s body to body as the herd of runners all head the same direction. It’s also the only mile of the run that we have absolutely no spectators. Some runners shout and scream to hear their echo. Some stop for a quick photo at the midway point next to the two countries’ flags. It is a cool photo op, but the competitor in me won’t allow me to stop. The first time I ran through the tunnel, I was amazed at how long it was and kept wondering when it was going to end. There is a gradual incline near the end of the tunnel. At that point, my quads are burning and I dig in deep to push through because I know the biggest crowd is waiting just outside the tunnel.

Sure enough as we come out of the dark and even before our eyes are re-adjusted to daylight, we can hear people screaming and cheering. Both sides are full and I began to scan the crowd for one or two familiar faces. When I see them, I run close to the side to get a high five. The smile and wave from someone who knows my name gives me a little more wind in my sail.

About a half mile later, that’s when the real struggle begins. Around mile nine my mind starts playing head games, telling me things like…

  • Wow, you have a long ways to go.
  • You won’t be able to keep up this pace.
  • You are already behind last year, so just slow down.
  • No one else cares about your time.
  • Did I do enough squats, lunges, hills?
  • Why do you even care about your time?
  • Why are you doing this to yourself?
  • What’s that pain (leg, knee, hip, ankle)?
  • Most people never even do one of these races.

And on and on and on. So I talk back to myself…

  • You are MORE than half way done.
  • You can trust your training.
  • This is a new race with a new time.
  • You will be so mad at yourself if you slow down/give up.
  • God cares what you are doing and He knows the details.
  • You have breath and strength and ability.
  • That pain isn’t real.
  • Many people wish they could run.

Can you imagine the tape playing in my head over and over? Between the internal arguments, I pray and quote Scripture.

There is a hill somewhere between ten and eleven. It’s tough. That’s where I gave into the negative self-talk last year. I was nauseous and that gave me an excuse. I slowed way down and I as much as I hate to admit it, but I actually walked for like 30 seconds. Okay, maybe it was 60 seconds. Once I did that, I knew it was over.

Mile twelve is a great place for us half marathoners. It’s where the full marathoners keep going straight and we turn the corner and head for the finish line. It’s a great feeling to know you’re almost done. You forget the pain and pick up the pace. Every other time, I’ve been ecstatic when I finish. Last year I was already mad at myself.

It was the first year that my time didn’t improve. Later when I looked at my splits, I realized I hadn’t been doing as poorly as I thought. I had listened to the wrong voice in my head and I was my own worst enemy.

Five years ago, I had never run anything but a few family-fun 5k’s. I never envisioned myself as a serious runner. I remember how excited I was the first time I ran four miles without stopping. Now a four mile run is either a warm-up or a speed workout. Either way, it feels like an easy run day. Clearly, my perspective has changed. Training for a half marathon is work. Hard work. The only way that four miles got easier was by continually running.

Several times in the Bible, our lives on earth are compared to running a race. For me, the correlation is helpful. I understand that this life is not a sprint, but a marathon. I have to put the training in to reap the benefits. Spending time in His Word is paramount. Sharing my struggles honestly with godly friends is my lifeline. Regularly crying out to Jesus is the air I breathe.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t keep going. Like that hill on mile ten, I want to quit. But I need to play the tape of God’s truth to override the lies of my flesh. Letting go of my dreams and embracing God’s plan is still a work in progress. When I’m discouraged, I can choose where I let my thoughts rest. Do I focus on the pain and loss or do I remind myself of God’s goodness? When the daily loneliness threatens to devour me, do I give into self-pity or do I review how far I’ve come with God by my side?

My race is not over until God says it is. Someday I will cross earth’s finish line and when I do, I don’t want to have any regrets.

Hebrews 12: 1 & 2; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:7; Philippians 3:14

 

 

 

 

 

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Out-of-the-Pit2

As God has now allowed my life story to continue three and a half years longer than my husband’s, I marvel at His faithfulness to me. While I am certainly not living the life I could have imagined even 5 short years ago, I am convinced that I am exactly where God wants me. When I was cruising along with a healthy husband and living the busy life of a mom of two teenagers, I had some basic expectations of what the next stage would be like. As the kids approached college and many changes were right around the corner, I thought I’d be walking through the empty nest phase with my husband by my side. But I was wrong.

Since the diagnosis of ALS threw our lives into a tailspin, nothing has been the same. In fact, the only consistent thing has been the steady stream of changes. I guess we could all say that nothing ever stays the same. Each of us experiences different stages of life and we are usually at the beginning or end of some transition.

There are many contrasts to my former life and my current life. The more substantial two are that instead of working part-time at a nearby school, I now work a full-time corporate job in the city; and instead of living in a house with a husband and two children, I now live in a condo alone. Of course, those trickle down to a thousand other ways life has changed. My main roles used to be “wife” and “mom.” The former of which no longer exists and the latter requires minimal time; both kids basically grown, gone more than home.

It’s pretty drastic; death is like that. It interrupts everything. As does all suffering…It doesn’t have to be death. Most of us are thrown a curve ball at some point and the unexpected becomes the new norm. We need time to process that this shocking event has become a reality. When someone is sharing with me a burden and starts to say, “I know it’s not as bad as yours, but….,” I immediately stop them. It doesn’t have to be like mine to hurt. No need to compare. I haven’t walked in your shoes and you haven’t walked in mine, but we can still bear one another’s burdens. I consider it a privilege to share what God has taught me with another who is suffering. God’s word is completely transferrable to all our different struggles.

Living life alone was not what I ever expected. It’s certainly not what I wanted. It flies in the face of my personality. I’m a people person, a communicator that loved sharing life with my best friend and pouring into my children and ministry.

I loved my life.

Now I don’t.

That’s complete honesty. That doesn’t mean I’m unthankful; far from it, even in the littlest things, I see God’s goodness and overflow with gratefulness. It doesn’t mean I’m miserable; each day, I try to be positive and show God’s love to everyone I meet with a kind greeting and smile. It doesn’t mean I don’t have peace; on the contrary, I lay my head on my pillow each night completely at peace with God in my mind and spirit.

It just means I don’t love my life like I used to. It’s still hard and I’m still adjusting. Some days feel like drudgery, others are acutely painful. Some I manage just fine, while others I simply endure. Life is like that. I don’t think I’m that much different from anyone else.

I know I’m right where God wants me; and that makes it ok for me to not love my life now. Because if He’s ok with where I’m at, then I humbly accept it. “Better is one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10).

This season of life is part of God’s plan and His plan is good. He prepared me in advance for this time and He is preparing me now for the next stage, whatever it may be (Ephesians 2:10). Absolutely nothing is wasted in God’s economy. What a relief. There is always a purpose and a reason for our pain.

I don’t buy into “your best life now” philosophy; instead I choose to believe that my “momentary light affliction is producing for me an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinithians 4:17). God didn’t promise me a trouble free life here; In fact He said the opposite (John 16:33), but He has overcome the world and He has promised to never leave me (Hebrews 13:5).

And just soak in the promises of Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

I knew those promises before, but now I’ve truly lived them. Many hours on my face before God weeping buckets of tears, begging God to carry me and I can honestly say He has carried me. It’s only by His grace that I’ve made it this far.

Recently, as I was trying to encourage a close friend who was having her own struggles, I found myself telling her that as awful as this grief journey has been, I’ve asked the Lord to never let me forget how needy I am. I never want to lose the closeness that I’ve had with God during this time. Absolutely lost, desperate and broken. Completely at the end of myself, knowing I can’t survive without Him.

As painful as it has been, it has also been precious. I don’t yet have words to explain it. Maybe I never will. At rock bottom, Jesus Christ has met me, held me and carried me; and I won’t forget. Ever.

As a result, I have absolutely no doubts that God has my future figured out. He is with me in his journey. In fact, better than that, He planned it and it’s for His kingdom purposes, which I will not fully understand until I’m Heaven-side. Won’t it be so cool to be able to see all God was doing from beginning to end? Each of our own personal stories is just a tiny fragment of the whole. His purposes unfolded will blow us away. I can’t wait!

Whether I can ever say “I love my life” again is irrelevant. It’s not the goal. The goal is to continue to walk closely with my Lord and Savior, faithfully obeying and trusting. The struggles of our daily lives on planet earth bring to the surface the areas where we need to submit and where God wants to mature us; and all the while, the hands of a loving Father help us through the process.

A few months ago I was introduced to this song and I can’t get enough of it. Many mornings on my drive into Detroit, alone with Jesus, I have my praise and worship time. As I sing and pray this song, I force myself to keep one hand on the wheel when I want to raise them both heavenward and I fight back the tears so my mascara won’t run before my day has even begun. This has become my theme song and I encourage you to get alone with God and turn it up loud and listen….

There wasn’t a day that You weren’t by my side

There wasn’t a day that You let me fall…

In all of my life, Your love has been true,

With all of my life, I will worship You.

I will sing of all God’s done and I’ll remember how far He’s carried me

From beginning to the end, He is faithful until the end….

I will remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward

Posted: December 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

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My story of loss is now at the three-year mark. Throughout my life no other three-year time period has ever been so long and yet so short. How have I survived three long years without my life’s partner? In the early days, the hours were  excruciating and  I couldn’t wait for sleep to bring relief. At the same time, how can it have only been three short years since I had him by my side? So much has happened that in some ways the time has flown by. Only others who’ve walked the grief journey can truly relate.

I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to feel at this three-year anniversary of Patrick’s death. Overall, I am doing well. Day by day I continue to move forward. For the most part, the load is lighter; the fog has cleared. The waves of intense pain are less often and have a shorter duration. I cry easily, but can smile as the tears flow. I don’t fear the emotion; I let it out and keep going.

When people tell me I’m doing better, I’m not sure how to react. I know such words are spoken out of love and meant for encouragement, so I choose to receive them that way. If someone says they know Patrick would be proud of me, those words touch me deeply. Although I’m not living to please him, it’s a bittersweet thought that he would think I was continuing to make the right choices in following the Lord.

Several significant events happened this year that the Lord gave me the desire and the strength to carry out. Early in the year, I received a promotion at work that better fit my skill set and gave me more flexibility. It requires more leadership and initiative, which in turn, has increased my confidence. I am enjoying the corporate world and am becoming more marketable as I continue to learn and grow.

I also purchased a car for the first time on my own. To some it may not seem like a big deal, but to a girl who always drove whatever vehicle her dad and then her husband bought, it was uncharted territory. I educated myself, narrowed it down to the make, model, year and mileage and began my pursuit. It was an exciting process; I’m happy with my choice and love whipping around metro Detroit in my little Honda CRV.

During the summer, I traveled to Hungary for a mission’s trip teaching English. I worked with a team of teachers and missionaries I had never met before and stayed with a wonderful Hungarian family. I don’t think a smile left my face the entire time. It was such an awesome experience and the highlight of my year.

Then in the fall, I decided to sell my house, downsize and move to a condo. Even though I knew that moving would be necessary at some point, it all came about rather quickly and when God sets things in motion, you just go with it. From Labor Day until last week, putting my house on the market, packing, and moving became all consuming. I spent hours going through every box, shelf, nook and cranny. I organized, sorted, donated and purged, determined not to keep unnecessary stuff. I could not have done it alone. Many friends helped; Paige came home on weekends and tackled whatever list I had for her. We face-timed Parker to ask what he wanted and show him our progress. And then there were my parents, who deserve the biggest shout-out of all. They worked tirelessly alongside me over the weekends and then fulfilled dozens of tasks during the week while I continued to work full-time. They kept me going when I wanted to quit. They knew I didn’t enjoy the process and didn’t make me feel bad when I worked quietly engrossed in my own thoughts or when I let the grumpiness slip out. Somehow they knew when I’d reached my limit and couldn’t make another decision that day.

You see, deciding to move was something I knew with my head was right, but my heart fought it the whole way. There were many emotions that had to be dealt with as I closed the door on the last house where we lived as a family of four. The home Patrick and I fixed up and where we could have stayed forever. We shared this home with hundreds of students and families. 16 years was the longest I’d ever lived at any one address. But I knew it was time and I knew I needed to go through it. It was the wisest thing to do financially. So like any other tasks I need to accomplish, I made my lists and started checking things off, one item at a time until it was done.

Buying a car and the trip to Hungary were endeavors I was nervous, but excited to embark upon. Selling my house was a challenge I needed to face, but didn’t want to. However, I truly believe all this year’s events were gifts of God’s graciousness to keep me busy. Business and activity help keep the loneliness at bay, which is the most prevalent pain from the loss of a spouse. To be doing life by yourself, without a companion, well I don’t know that I will ever get used to that.

Patrick’s memory brings me smiles. I can now honestly say I’m glad he didn’t suffer with that terrible disease any longer. Early on, I wished he had the “slow version” of ALS, but now I’m glad he didn’t. God spared us all on that one. I remember the good times and think of Patrick when he was whole and well. The photo above shows his perspective of life. He was helping our good friends load up their daughter for her first year away at college. He was always cheering everyone on and looking at the positive of every experience. I imagine he is enjoying Heaven and encouraging me to continue pressing on here.

I miss my husband every day; I think of him often. I know what he would say and think and do. I sometimes “talk” to him. I know he’s not there, but I equate it to talking to myself, of which I have no shame that I also do. His absence is a hole that I will always carry. Yet, I do feel like a whole person again. No longer do I think I have a sign on my head that shouts “widow,” I’m just Dena. My personality has returned, even though I’m changed in many ways. My faith is stronger and my God is with me. I don’t have anything to fear and so I don’t.

Patrick’s story ended, but mine did not. His legacy lives on through my life, through Paige and Parker’s lives, and through the hundreds of people who were touched in one way or another by his life.

I don’t know what’s in my future, but I am no longer dreading it. God has proven himself to me over and over again. He will walk with me in 2016 with whatever He brings my way, as I continue to move forward.

 Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Daddy's girl blog

 This month on the 26th, we are choosing celebration because it is Paige Marie’s 21st birthday. While I am Paige’s only living parent, she is still the fruit of the womb that God gave to my husband and me. Nothing will ever change that. Patrick will always be a vital part of the equation. He invested into Paige’s life whole-heartedly from the day she was born until the day he died. Now through his legacy, Paige continues on becoming the woman God wants her to be.

Paige came into the world three weeks early and was a tiny little thing at 5 lbs. 10 oz. In fact, all the nurses wanted to come in and see her since they were so accustomed to delivering larger babies. But don’t let her small size fool you, she was healthy as an ox and 24 hours later, we were shoved out the hospital doors and on our way home.

From the get go, there wasn’t a job that Patrick refused to do. He was a hands-on dad in every area. In fact, he hated it when other men said they had to “babysit” their kids. His thinking was that it’s not babysitting, it’s parenting!

Patrick didn’t believe in separate rules or expectations for girls and boys. He pretty much expected the same thing from both kids. Therefore, there was nothing he didn’t teach Paige to do simply because she was a girl. From fishing, soccer and golf to mowing the lawn and shoveling snow; to earning a dollar and finding a deal; from how to speak up, look others in the eye and shake a hand; to Notre Dame and the Tigers; to cooking and eating…Patrick taught it and Paige learned it.

Looking back, I would say Paige was a “daddy’s girl.” But definitely not in the typical way…She was no coddled princess who could get her daddy to let her do anything. No way, José! Patrick certainly didn’t want a spoiled prima donna. He wanted a hard working, common sense, fun loving, Jesus-following girl. He was firm with Paige and she hated to disappoint him; just that “look” from Daddy and she responded accordingly.

In our first home in Kentucky, Patrick would wake 3-year old Paige up at midnight and carry her onto the back deck to watch the raccoons emerge out of the woods. Fifteen years later, after he was diagnosed with ALS, Patrick planned a trip to California to visit family and he insisted on taking Paige with him. From toddler to teenager, he wanted his daughter with him every chance he had.

Patrick was diagnosed with his fatal disease when Paige was 18, in the middle of her senior year. He insisted life continue as normal. Paige went on college visits and participated in all the end-of-the-year events. At her graduation, Patrick was still standing tall, but had slowed down in many ways. In her cap and gown, we snapped a family photo that to this day is the background image on my phone.

All summer, we kept hoping for the effects of ALS to slow down; we were desperate for more time. As it drew closer for Paige to leave for college, we had a difficult discussion. Should she start college or postpone it? She knew the facts…Patrick was dying; we didn’t know if he even had a year left, but we doubted it.

Her college was a couple hours away; Many people offered to help get her back quickly if needed. I promised honest communication. Patrick wanted her to go and told her so, but we didn’t want her to feel pushed away.

The decision was hers and she bravely began her college journey under the worst possible circumstances.

But God in His goodness saw that she was right where she needed to be. In a small Christian environment where many new friends, leaders and professors ministered to her. When she returned the following semester after her daddy died, her support group had been established. They were ready and understanding. It would have been more difficult had she waited to start.

Late in the fall, after a short weekend visit, Paige left us a note on our bathroom counter. After he read it, Patrick sobbed. I’d never seen anything like it. Watching someone with ALS cry isn’t easy; I wanted to stop it. He finally was able to communicate to me how despondent he felt because he wasn’t going to be here on earth to watch Paige grow into an adult. He told me he was far more heart broken for us than for himself. His fatherly heart was torn in two; It was heart wrenching.

After her first semester ended, Paige was able to spend Patrick’s last few weeks on earth by his side, helping to take care of him. Nothing fazed her and she was a trooper treating him with respect, even while watching her once strong daddy now lay paralyzed and helpless. She acted normal and made him laugh. Just sitting next to him in silence, the love between them was palpable.

Often as Patrick was declining, I begged God that He would allow both of the kids and me to be present whenever God decided to take him to Heaven. I wanted it to be our final time as a family of four. We needed to be together.

And in God’s sovereign plan, he designed Patrick’s home going to be over the holidays. I know many people felt that the timing was awful, but truthfully, it was going to be awful no matter when it happened.

I firmly believe the timing was an answer to my prayer. Even though Patrick went into a coma on Christmas Eve, God in his graciousness allowed the three of us to be by his side when he breathed his last breath the day after Christmas.

 I will never forget Paige’s wailing sobs as she left his side for the last time. There was no consoling this girl. Nothing could diminish this level of pain.

At his service, she insisted on sharing a testimony about her dad. She wrote it, gave it to me to read, and it was perfect. No changes were made and she stood bravely in front of over 1,000 people and talked about her hero. Her voice didn’t crack and she didn’t break down. I was in awe.

Father and daughter share numerous similarities. Both love to eat and laugh. They like the “shortened” versions of a story and things that aren’t overly complicated. They’ve never met a stranger and have a lot of common sense. They don’t need the newest gadget or name brand clothes. They don’t try particularly hard to impress others but are friendly to all and “what you see is what you get.”

A few months after Patrick died, I made some comment to Paige about how I wished I had stayed by his side more while he was sick. My thinking was that if I would have known how short his time was, I wouldn’t have ever left his side. Paige looked at me and told me clearly and calmly, “Mom, Dad isn’t in Heaven wishing that you would have done something differently while he was sick. You did your best and he’s now healthy and with Jesus.” It was just like something Patrick would have said to me and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I never said it again.

Losing her dad forever changed Paige’s life. But she knows what a special daddy she had and how blessed she is.  Since his death, Paige has bravely continued on with her college education. She has made wise, practical decisions and continues to seek to honor the Lord with her life. Patrick would be thrilled.

Paige – Today on your 21st birthday, be assured of the following…

  • You are loved deeply by both your parents.
  • Your daddy was so proud of you. He loved every second with you and the two of you definitely had a special bond.
  • He was a man of God and many girls in this world don’t have dads like yours.
  • Dad held your hand and guided you as faithfully as he could until God released him from that job.
  • He is now in Heaven worshiping the Heavenly Father whom he pointed you toward.
  • If God allows him to have snapshots into your life now, I know he is proud of the woman you are becoming.
  • You know many of the things Dad would keep telling you if he were here, but foremost among them would be to “Keep running hard after Christ.” And the next would probably be “Happy Birthday, Pump.”

 Psalms 103:13 “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About a month ago,  I received an email from my alma mater, Baptist Bible College, telling me that I had been chosen to receive one of the annual alumni awards they give out each fall.  The awards were to be handed out during a chapel service in mid-October that culminated the end of the Bible conference and the beginning of homecoming weekend.  I knew immediately that I wanted to go…Northeast Pennsylvania is gorgeous at this time of year and I have years of fond memories from college and seminary.

But there is a big difference between wanting to go and making it happen.  We kept it on the down-low and started making plans.  I knew I couldn’t just get in a car and drive ten hours anymore, so we had to break it up into bite-size pieces.  Then there were the unknowns of the hotel rooms and accommodations along the way.  Plus, we knew we needed more manpower….I’m too much for Dena to handle alone when away from the set-up in our home.

Once the plans were made, we still almost didn’t make it when two nights before we left, I fell in the middle of the night walking to the bathroom.  Dena and Parker had to call 911 for them to come and get me up.  I only suffered a cut on my head and some pride, as now walking alone was put on the “never again” list.  We knew that the administration and students at our college were praying we could come, so we kept plugging away.

It took Dena two days to pack for our little trip, but she’s doing everything now including loading it all up.  As she made several trips to the van with bags of meds, extra supplies, the wedge pillow, handrail for the bed, wheelchair and scooter, she gave me a look that said “do not say one word about how many bags I have!”  It’s kind of a joke between us, as it probably is with every married couple packing for a trip!!  Needless to say, she made sure we had it all!  At each stop along the way, we had friends or family come to meet us and help us into the hotel rooms.  Starting the second day, our friends, Matt & Jolynn Frey, joined us in our van and continued the trip with us.  Once there, Dena’s brother, Tim, also flew in and jumped in to help.

The weather was great, the service was nice, the familiar faces wonderful, and the young students refreshing.  I laughed so much my sides hurt. Receiving the Outstanding Faithful Service award was a real honor and blessing.  It is only because of God’s grace that he can use a former troubled teen for His glory.  I have only been serving God for 25 years, and many others have done so for much longer.  I am humbled.

So was the trip a lot of effort?  Yes!  But worth it? Definitely.    Thank you, friends, family and BBC!

Psalm 84:11  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows favor and honor; No good thing will he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.